Today’s post is based on my January 3, 2013 Writing Practice…the topic of the day: You’re in a courtyard
The following quote from A Writer’s Book of Days spoke to me and feel it should be included:
“I don’t know what inspiration is, but when it comes I hope it finds me working”
This topic brings so many ideas to mind. I keep thinking…what a “court-yard” means to me. My initial thought is the courtyard at the school where I work. It is the space that marries the old and new additions of this building…new on the East and old on the West. A place where classes are free to go and have their learning experience in nature, yet unobserved by outside eyes. A place to begin a garden, to have lunch with the sun on your face without the wind in your hair…a true oasis for staff and students alike.
My next fleeting thought is the name Emily and Marty gave themselves as they make their own kind of music away from my beloved Dixie Chicks. The Court Yard Hounds brings their music back to their origins ~ bluegrass ~ that was played anywhere they found an invitation, but came into its own on the streets of downtown Dallas where skyscrapers and asphalt gave birth to the sound that would go from the Dixie Chickens to settle easily around their shoulders as the Dixie Chicks.
The last thought is of New Orleans. The French Quarter is famous for food, street artists, carriage rides, and the best atmosphere on the face of the Earth. However, the entire Quarter is famous for these marvelous little spaces, entries into much grander houses than you expect from the street. Large and formal gardens that the lovely homes are built around, tropical vegetation and the ever-present fountain creates the individual music for each house out of water, air, and atmosphere. The court-yard is but a tease to what will be found beyond the gates.
However, the New Orleans court-yard that still haunts me is where I had my first “true” palm reading in the Spring of 1995 (I think was the date). I followed a placard that simply said Palm Reading into this tiny court-yard. Outdoor iron furniture with delicate and intricate scrolling decorated the central area. Off to the right several small rooms had been carved from the remaining space. Roofless and doorless, these rooms intrigued me. Just as I was about to leave, a tall elegant gentleman appeared, beckoning me to a room…you need your palm read he said gently. How could I say “no’ to that? We settled down at a small table. He asked to see my hands, politely asking me to remove my rings (I wore several in those days) and he squished each hand in each of his – gently – turned them over and studied the palms as if to memorize them. He stated – “you are right-handed — all of your energy is flowing from there”. Thus, began the Reading. I have often wished for a recording of his slow, soft words as he told the history and predicted the future of my life by studying — touching — the hills, valleys and rivers of my right palm. He did take notes in a journal of his own as he talked. He dated the reading adding the time and my name. Also, he traced an outline of my right hand and sketched the lines of my palm. He said, “This is for when you return. I will be able to compare the changes as you go through future life experiences.” When I asked about the Reading fee, I was told to place a donation of my choice in the box he pointed to by the gate leading to the street. Donations from his Readings found their way to any number of local charities.
This was my first visit to the Crescent City, and hopefully it will not be the last. I have often wondered after the devastation of hurricane Katrina if that court-yard still stands and if I should have the luxury of returning after nearly 20 years, would I be able to experience another reading?
Poetry from this Writing Practice:
He took my hands~studied them as if to memorize for eternity~and~proceded to tell the story of my life.
No Musical Muse, however, Arlo Guthrie’s City of New Orleans was running through my mind as I entered this Writing Practice.
Copyright © 2013 Annie – Original Fiction
Always…I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you Love.
As Ever, Annie
First Published 1/12/2013